Friday, March 23, 2007

Wednesday - Gran Prix de Santa Ana

The racing was on! The one-day Gran Prix de Santa Ana was a 102k road race that looked to be completely flat. My team for the whole event consisted of Hiroko, Megan, Mandy, Andrea, Kathleen, and me. Jorge Romero was our director; Pete our mechanic. We didn't know what to make of the field, except we all knew Jeanne Longo, the 49-year-old French legend who has been to five Olympics already and won who knows how many national titles. Our race plan was to sit and watch - not my cup of tea. The race was lame, we noodled at about 15mph for a few hours, then all of a sudden just as I was wishing the finish would come we started ramping it up on a highway-grade climb that just got longer and longer, 10k at least. I went with the first surge but could not follow the second. I was mad - if I had been top five during the climb I might have made the six-person split. Instead, frustrated by a race plan of doing nothing, I got lazy and was maybe 12th wheel and just missed the action. The whole team did. Tried to organize a chase after, and we worked for a while with the Columbians and Brazilians, but ended up calling it off as the gap ballooned. Jumped at 1k to go, thought I could lead the team out, instead got a little gap and just lead out the Brazilians. 13th place. Kathleen, recovered from illness the night before, posted our top finish with 10th. Disappointing race for me - neither good racing nor good training. Wednesday night the stomach was not tip-top, a sign of things to come. At this point I was still eating foods like plain rice from the cafeteria, drinking only bottled water, not even brushing the teeth with tap water. Here we are before the race doing some sponsor promotion with the Schick ladies: back row: Jorge, Schick ladies, Pete, front row: Kathleen, Hiroko, me, Megan, Mandy, and Andrea. We are all healthy and I look decidedly more robust than I do now.

No comments: